ChaCha Launches Multimedia Ads

ChaCha, the free answers service, has launched a Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) that will support videos, including movie trailers, and images such as coupons and logos, on nearly all mobile phones. Answering over 2m questions every day, ChaCha says it will be capable of sending rich media content and advertisements through MMS to further engage its audience of more than 15m active monthly unique users.

“This is a big deal for both our advertisers and users,” says ChaCha CEO, Scott Jones. “Many marketers view sight, sound and motion as major enhancements to their brand’s message, and we are now in the ideal position to support these objectives in mobile channels. Smartphones have whetted the consumers appetite for mobile, rich-media content. MMS allows media to finally reach virtually all mobile phones in a way that advertisers can have their messages seen and heard. Our users will benefit, regardless of their phone type.” 

US MMS volumes hit an average of 5bn messages sent per month by the end of 2009. ChaCha notes that MMS enables the 75 per cent of consumers who do not own smartphones to view multimedia content, along with the 25 per cent of US consumers that already have smartphones. MMS is typically included in operator messaging plans, with no additional cost to consumers. This provides significant reach and media benefits for advertisers,” says ChaCha.

ChaCha is offering brands a variety of ways to leverage MMS including deploying existing rich media content, such as sports highlights, video ads, movie trailers, interview clips, music videos, logos, photos and contests. Brands can also provide users with a text response code within a text message that launches video when consumers respond; or send them a mobile coupon for immediate local redemption.

ChaCha operates an ad-supported answers service that has answered almost 1bn questions from more than 15m unique users via SMS since its launch. Advertiser clients include Johnson&Johnson, P&G and Coca-Cola.

In 2010, 73 per cent of ChaCha’s mobile advertising campaigns resulted from renewals from advertiser clients. The company says this is because engagement and response rates are demonstrably higher on ChaCha. A recent study by Kavassalais revealed that mobile marketing response rates are up to 300 times more effective than traditional media.